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Hooligans and Rebels?: An Oral History of Working-Class Childood and Youth 1889 - 1939

Hooligans and Rebels?: An Oral History of Working-Class Childood and Youth 1889 - 1939

Stephen Humphries

ISBN: 978-0-631-19984-7

Nov 1995, Wiley-Blackwell

288 pages

Select type: Paperback

In Stock



In this fascinating book, Stephen Humphries examines all aspects of childhood delinquency, from hooliganism, teenage gangs and vandalism to juvenile crime and classroom anarchy. He shows that far from being simply the product of contemporary society, the rebellion of under-privileged children and youth has a long and compelling history. By drawing on oral testimonies and forgotten documentary accounts, the author evokes a vivid picture of young people at war with adults in the days when children were to be "seen and not heard". The recollections of working-class people, rarely if ever heard in conventional histories, provide an authentic and often moving account of how working-class children coped with an often harsh and oppressive world.
Hooligans and Rebels will be welcomed by all those interested in oral history, and the history of youth in modern British society.
1. Deprivation and Depravity: A Review of the Theory.

2. Subverting the School Syllabus.

3. Challenges to Classroon Coercion.

4. School Strikes: Pupils and Parents Protest.

5. Larking About: Pranks and Parody.

6. Social Crime and Family Survival.

7. Street Gangs: Revolt, Rivalry and Racism.

8. Reformatories: Resistance to Repression.

Notes and References.

A Brief Guide to Oral History Material.

Further Reading.


  • Widely regarded as a classic piece of historical ethnography
  • Oral history, youth culture and cultural studies in general is a growing area of study
  • Includes a guide to handling oral history sources.